Coffee collaboration supports Phoenix Zoo jaguar research

Press Coffee and the Phoenix Zoo have the jaguar-friendly coffee Pura Vida roast for sale this week as $5 from each bag sold go to the zoo’s research efforts. Last year, Pura Vida raised more than $5,000 for research efforts. (Submitted photo)

The return of a collaboration from Press Coffee and the Phoenix Zoo will help endangered jaguars.

The first certified Jaguar-Friendly coffee in the U.S., according to a press release, Pura Vida is sourced from the Finca Las Alturas in Costa Rica with the help of the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation, which operates the Phoenix Zoo.

The 12-ounce bags of whole beans go on sale at all Press Coffee locations this week with a portion of the proceeds supporting jaguar research led by the ACNC and ProCAT, an international nongovernmental organization focused on wildlife and habitat conservation, the release said.

For this Jaguar conservation coffee project, the ACNC and ProCAT work with Finca Las Alturas to support a landscape where farmers, jaguars and other wildlife co-exist in this southern part of Costa Rica, which is home to one of the largest populations of jaguars in that country and considered one of the most richly diverse coffee regions in the world, the release said.

Due mainly to illegal hunting and habitat loss, jaguars are declining in the wild with the overall population estimated to occupy less than 50 percent of its former range, the release said, noting that researchers are designing a habitat corridor that links Las Alturas with the Osa Peninsula, home to Costa Rica’s most threatened jaguar population.

Last year, sales of Pura Vida raised more than $5,500 for the conservation efforts, the release stated.

In the release, ACNC’s Field Conservation Research Director Dr. Jan Schipper says the funds are being used to buy camera traps for the jaguar corridor and Las Alturas buffer zone and weather monitoring stations for the current coffee plantation.

“We will be assessing the value of different coffee conservation schemes in several regions to see what benefits jaguar and other species, and how we can work with producers to do it better,” said Dr. Schipper in a prepared statement. “Weather monitoring is important both to the coffee production and to corridor monitoring. Seasonal variation has greatly increased in the last 10 years and we need to be able to quantify these changes.”

In the release, Press Coffee co-owner Steve Kraus describes this year’s Pura Vida as an “exceptional example” of Costa Rican single origins.

“It’s been an honor to not just share an outstanding coffee with our guests, but to have the chance to support the amazing work the Phoenix Zoo is doing in our communities,” said Mr. Kraus in a prepared statement. “We’re proud to include Pura Vida in our Press On Charities efforts.”

“By using certification as an innovative conservation tool we can achieve conservation goals while supporting local farmers in jaguar range countries and share these incredible stories of coexistence with aspirational consumers around the world. It’s truly a triple bottom line win,” said Julie Stein, Executive Director and co-founder of WFEN.

Pura Vida is available for $16 for a 12-ounce bag of whole beans with $5 of the proceeds going to support ACNC and ProCAT’s jaguar conservation efforts. It’s available at Press Coffee locations in Phoenix, Chandler, Scottsdale and Tempe, the release said. Also available online at presscoffee.com, it can be shipped worldwide.

For more information, visit phoenixzoo.org; procat-conservation; or wildlifefriendly.org.

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